picutres of art carvings and chainsaw sculpture

wood carving and chainsaw shopping gallery

Re-print from Erie Times-News - Sunday, March 25, 2001

 

Chainsaw artist Brian Sprague of Venango will have his work on display for the entire country. He will be part of the April 19 telecast of the "Man Made Movie" on Superstation WTBS. Producers of the show selected him after seeing his work on his Web site.

 

A cut above
Venango man's chainsaw artwork wins him national recognition

By JIM MARTIN
Staff Writer

VENANGO - Chainsaw artist Brain Sprague is used to the passing gaze of motorists as he works along Route 19, transforming logs into bears or whatever his clients request.
   The 42-year-old Crawford County man's audience is about to get a lot larger.
   He and his work will be featured April 19 on the WTBS's "Man Made Movie" in a segment filmed earlier this month near Woodstock, Ga.
   For the uninitiated, "The Man Made Movie" is a weekly movie shown with commercial breaks that also feature the construction of what producers bill as the ultimate man's house.
   Construction of the house, destined for use as a getaway by members of the Atlanta Braves, is tied in each week with some event or scene in the movie.
   "The idea is to be fun and creative," Sprague said. "They are giving a big emphasis on the manly part of the 'Man Made Movie'."
   In his case, the movie will be Arnold
Schwarzenegger's "The Running Man" which features scenes with Schwarzenegger brandishing a chainsaw.
   Sprague, who works full-time for a gas-drilling company, said his task when he arrived in Atlanta on March 3 was to carve a likeness of the show's host Chad Taylor. That was a challenge, said Sprague who only met the host for a few minutes over lunch and then was supplied with only a drawing of Taylor, not a photo.
   With cameras rolling, Sprague fired up a chain saw and set to work for a carving process that would take him a dozen hours. When the dust had settled, the show's producers were satisfied--for the most part.
   Sprague said the show's producer's e-mailed a photo of the sculpture to company officials in California. They had one concern. Their wooden host seemed a little heavy and Sprague was asked to shave some heft from the figure.
"I went back and gave him a chainsaw diet," Sprague said.
   Sprague, who said he was selected for the job after the producers reviewed his Internet Web site for Woodies Wood Sculpture, said he was paid for his work and expenses, but is most pleased with the national exposure his work will receive.
   While the sculpture of Taylor was Sprague's first stab at carving the wooden form of a television host, it's not his first departure from the world of wooden bears. He's done frogs and other animals and even a monk for an Arizona bar called the Monastery.
  There's no shortage of chain saw wood carvers. "But I've always tried to do different things," said Sprague, who once shipped a 6-foot wooden alligator to Florida.
   He's hoping his minutes of fame bring other opportunities. "It should give me some credibility," Sprague said.  "It can't hurt things."

JIM MARTIN can be reached at (814) 724-6397.  Send e-mail to jim.martin@timesnews.com